Gambling Reference Point

So have you got a reference point?

It is a simple (but complex) thing. I mean, it could be a dot on a page. 

Definition: A basis of standard for evaluation, assessment, or comparison; a criterion.

It always surprises me how few people do any of those three things. Self-assessment isn't all about your tax return. However, personally, it may equate to your profit and loss. It could be the difference between life or death.

When it comes to your gambling, I wonder if you have a Reference Point?

Reference Point. That name sounds familiar. Yes, he was a Derby-winning horse trained by [Sir] Henry Cecil. 

However, this is a different reference point. And the reason why you need to have a niche. 

My niche is two-year-old. 

You may ask, why have a niche? Well, unless you have a 30-hour day, the chances are you don't have the time to understand everything. You don't need to be Isaac Newton to understand that, hey. 

However, you would be surprised how many people can't get to the grips with such reasoning. It's like they are being deprived of something when, in truth, that, potential abundance is killing them slowly. 

You can have too much. And it leads to the jack of all trades and master of none. That is no answer to anything good. 

Don't believe me, then you try to work under pressure. 

A reference point is something we all need to have. 

Why Mathematicians aren't the Best Gamblers at the Casino

Surely, the best person to win at the casino is a mathematician?

Because they are the best at math and probability - which must be the key to negating the house edge.  

However, for all of their knowledge, that assessment doesn't really give a true answer. 

In fact, such thinking may be flawed. 

Let me explain. 

For example, no mathematician can change a negative into a positive. As seen with the game of roulette, there are 18 ways to win but 20 ways to lose. 

You would need to be a magician to change those odds. 

Also, there are few mathematicians (such as Albert Einstein) and lots of mathematics teachers. They are very different people. 

Probability can be used to understand what may well happen but gambling is also random. You noticed that black or red is almost 50% but look how many times one colour comes up in a row. Supposedly, the longest recorded streak of one colour in roulette in America casino history happened in 1943 when the colour red won 32 consecutive times.

There is more to winning at gambling than simply math. However, probability is something any budding gambling should understand. You will probably lose more quickly without it.   

Edward O. Thorp  - a math professor - invented card counting. It is believed he was one of the richest mathematicians and achieved an annual return of +20% on his investments. He did this for over 30 years. 

The problem, these days, is that your card counting is likely to be noticed by the casino and they will often tell you to bet level stake or leave. 

One regular observed by the casino. They said: ''We know what you are doing and if you don't bet level stake you will be asked to leave.''

Often mathematicians cannot beat the house simply because they created the games in the first place. 

The strength of any gambler is to win early and stop playing. 

You are almost certain to lose money long term.

Read our last magnificent post: Sweet Smell Of Success

The Man with the Lucky Emerald Ring

I don't know about you, but watching The Wizard of Oz as a small child back in the 1970s did something to my brain. 

You may be thinking, is that what turned him into a raving addy unable to stop betting even when his old Grandad dressed up as the Wizard of Oz, hid behind a curtain, and used a voice machine to try and convince him of a more conscientious road to wander. 

Instead, he went astray with the flying monkeys and dated a green-faced witch who was teetotal and wouldn't even take a sip of water. 

I wonder what happened to her?

Where would the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Dorothy (not forgetting little Toto) be without following the yellow brick road?

I'm sure if it had been a green road it would have led straight to Paddy Power, in Ireland, next to a Leprechaun who ate four-leaved clover. 

L. Frank Baum's masterpiece, released in 1939, is still a wonderful film, and the book: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) is even better. 

One Christmas, I heard someone say they were bored with watching The Wizard of Oz

I never looked upon the person in the same way again. 

I was horrified. 

But getting back to my brain and fascination with emeralds. I think, like a child playing in the dirt, some emerald dust must have entered my bloodstream and become part of my biochemistry.  

My nervous system, synapses, and neurotransmitters are triggered when I see a real emerald and it bestows luck on the wearer of the ring and myself. 

Instead of dopamine, I've got emeraldamine in my grey matter. 

At the casino, you often see a gentleman wearing a ring on his little finger. Not too many, but one every so often. 

I'm looking for the man with the emerald ring. 

As yet, this elusive soul has been nowhere to be seen.

It's not one of these clean emeralds, it has those misty-looking things with opacity. 

The day I see a man wearing such a ring at the casino I'm betting on the same number on the roulette and something tells me I'll be a winner. 

Our last post was this: Lady Luck - Great Yarmouth Style

Life & Death in Las Vegas

I can't say I have ever been to Las Vegas. 

Being a fan of Hunter S. Thompson I've read the book and watched the film: Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.  

Would I like to go there? I guess I'd like to see what all the fuss is about. They say you shouldn't stay for more than three nights. 

Your guess is as good as mine regarding why that fourth day is, potentially, so problematic.

I can imagine:

Is 72-hours enough time to lose all your money?

Enough time to say 'I Do' to an Elvis Presley look-a-like. 

Be accosted by a prostitute and ripped off. 

Beaten up by a pimp. 

Or, shot dead. 

You will notice that nothing bad has ever happens in Las Vegas! Nothing negative is ever reported. It's against the law. Literally. There are no robberies, suicides, mass shootings... 

Nothing happens in Nevada. Well, nothing bad. Only life-changing, positive moments of winning, getting married and it's happily ever after.

They don't want any bad PR. 

So don't ask too many questions. 

I remember watching one of the episodes of Louis Theroux, Gambling In Las Vegas. You're greeted by an array of sad people with even sadder stories. A place where your friends taunt you with lyrics from Kenny Roger's song, The Gambler, until you either rob a bank, kill a croupier, jump off the top of the Bellagio Hotel or just book your flight to do it all over again next year.

Theroux, forever straight-faced, asked a guest how much money they had lost. 

''Ten!''

''Dollars?''

''No, thousand!''

Or the old women who played the slots and lost millions and laughed about the loss of her son's future inheritance. 

If ever a women needed to trip down a long flight of stairs, she was the ideal candidate. 

Nothing stops the money-making juggernaut. 

An armed robbery took place in one casino where a gun went off as a security guard wrestled with an assailant, a tourist in the wrong place at the wrong time, shot in the head, killed instantly, laying in a pool of blood. 

The casino was shut for 20-minutes as the body was removed, a square of blood-stained carpet removed and replacement glued down as if nothing ever happened. 

Not a word in the local papers, news channels, anywhere.

''Did you hear about the person shot dead at that casino the other night?''

''No. It didn't happen!''

Nothing stops the pursuit of making easy cash. 

Not even Kenny Roger's playing a new tune on an old fiddle. 


Read our last magnificent post: The Richest People on Planet Earth

Betting Like you've Sucked a Placebo

Psychology. 

It's Greek translation: The study of the mind

I often write about psychology. It's a fascinating subject descended from philosophy. With its many and varied perspectives, theories, and methodologies.

Very few people talk about psychology within gambling beyond psychopathology. 

Gambling addiction. 

But could it be used as a tool for advantage?

If you like your movies, you probably enjoyed The Matrix, a science-fiction film released in the UK on 11th June 1999. The screenplay was written and the film directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski. 

The leading character, Thomas Anderson, a computer programmer, is led to fight an underground war against powerful computers who have constructed his entire reality with a system called the Matrix. 

Anderson had the opportunity of taking a red or blue pill. The former would reveal an unpleasant truth while the latter would see him remain blissfully ignorant. 

I wonder if gambling success is really all in the mind. Could feeling positive or negative make a difference to your success? 

It's an interesting thought.

Even though there is no logic to support this idea, have you ever noticed how some people seem luckier than others? 

Would this make for an intriguing psychological study?

Clearly, it couldn't be skill-based. However, it could be assessed with fixed odds. 

Surely, a scientific study manipulating the variables as they do in testing hypothesis when running a psychological experiment would detail no significance. 

I would be very surprised if it didn't. 

How could it be different from chance?

You've heard of the placebo effect, hey?

Its definition: ''A beneficial effect produced by a placebo drug or treatment, which cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must, therefore, be due to the patient's belief in the treatment.''

Imagine if I could convince someone that this ''blue pill'' in your hand has the power to make them the luckiest person on Earth. 

They put the blue pill into their mouth and suck it. 

Luck dissipates throughout their body. It travels fast through the bloodstream. It gives a warm, contented feeling and they believe it will transform their gambling life. They have a life of limitless opportunities.

Would you be a luckier person for taking the pill? 

Welcome to your life of opportunity. 

Read our last amazing post: Betting From My Bed

How to Lose a Million Gambling

People gamble for a myriad of reasons. 

It may be a reason you haven't yet discovered, appreciate or understand. That sentence may  seem ridiculous. 

''I bet to win money!'' 

I guess that's the logical reason but if you get beyond the surface structure of anything there may be more to it than meets the eye. For most gamblers who bet a few quid here and there it might not matter. Although even a few quid lost each week can be a lot of money over a lifetime. I'm not going to tell you what to do. You're a grown up, you do as you do. I hope for your sake, especially if you have a family, you're responsible. 

I don't want to lecture anyone. I respect people who like a bet. I mean, I've been betting just about all of my adult life. It's something I have thought about much, considered wisely, and appreciate the pros and cons. 

Unlike many who bet, I'm not naive. 

Having little understanding of anything can be dangerous. You don't have the experience to appreciate why something is a terrible idea until you are in the middle of a problem which may change your life for the worse. 

To be fair, the majority of people I know don't bet big money. They don't bet big money because they don't feel comfortable pushing their luck. It's all about doing what feels right for you. It's your money, your life, and I respect that. 

In fact, I would never suggest anyone has a bet unless they appreciate the pros and the cons. 

The difficulty with that perspective is that for the newbie gambler that isn't going to happen. I very much doubt it is the way you started gambling or me. Even with myself being a very careful gambler in my younger years, how could I be anything but wet behind the ears. 

To be honest, as with most things in life, we need to learn a few lessons and those experiences are often needed to keep us on the straight and narrow, and perhaps although costly at the time, were a valuable if not cheap lesson to learn from. 

Who wouldn't rather learn a lesson for £5 compared to one that costs £50,000?

I've seen a few big bettors at the casinos. 

You get a strange mix at these places - form the celebrity, to the down and out, to the rich and those who just fancy a night out and bit of fun. 

Good luck to them all. 

I've seen a few gamblers who wouldn't bat and eye at betting a grand on the spin of the roulette wheel. 

I don't think it's the best idea. 

These bigger money gamblers have a very strange character. I can only describe them as emotionless. That worries me. It's a strange contrast when the bloke next to them is huffing and puffing at the loss of £50 when their grand went down the chute with it and you could have sworn they lost a tenner. 

Don't fall into the trap that the more someone bets the more they know. 

It's often the reverse. 

Anyone who bets at the casino - unless they are cheating or card counting or have some knowledge that isn't the norm - knows they are betting on fixed odds. The house edge is there to guarantee one person a profit. 

The casino. 

Not to say you cannot increase your chances of winning. 

However, that's a story for another day. 

If you are one of these bigger gamblers at the casino, even if you have a bucket-load of cash, you need to stop for a moment and think what you are doing.

Because my ten pound is your thousand pounds. Meaning, your normal bet is a grand and you bet like its a tenner going out of fashion. 

Believe it or not, but it doesn't take long to lose a million pounds gambling. 

In fact, it can happen in three or four years without too much trouble at all. 

Just because someone at the casino is betting a grand a spin doesn't mean they are a professional gambler, knowledgeable, sensible, astute, or any other word which gives the impression they know more than Joe Blogs nursing his stack of 50p chips. 

To be fair, the bloke betting the big money isn't doing himself any favours at all. 

And time may tell they lose all their money. 

You've heard of the big-time gamblers betting millions and then someone spots them driving an Uber cab because their broke. 

Or worse still, the random bloke who jumps off a multistory car park.  

At least if you gamble with little you may have a lot to gain. One thing is for sure if you are a millionaire the last thing you ever want to do is gamble big money. 

Why?

You have nothing to gain and everything to lose. 

Gambling isn't really the problem. It's the gambler who is so often the problem. And I can tell you this, if it wasn't gambling it would be something else. 

The wise man built his house upon the rocks. 

If you don't understand the good, bad and ugly of gambling - just give it some time. But you'll only appreciate what it is saying to you if you really want to listen. 

Gambling is no different to any business. While someone is going broke, that clever bloke down the road is making a killing. 

It's nothing to do with gambling - it's all about the person. 

If you want to make money gambling you need to start from small cash because you will appreciate the money you win. 

If you're a millionaire with a love of gambling then do yourself a favour and bet like your the poorest person in the room. 

Read our last post: Betting Like You Use Brut

Why Drinking Alcohol at the Casino is a Bad Idea

Why Drinking Alcohol at the Casino is a Bad Idea
I wouldn't say I'm teetotal - but pretty close to it. 

Years ago, I used to play rugby union with my local club March Bears. It was good fun, a lively group of friends and there was always lots of beer flowing. In fact, they used to fill up a watering can and dispense grandma's medicine with efficiency. 

From there we would go out on the town and I'd walk home in the early hours and fall to sleep downstairs, wake up in about dawn, get to bed, and wake up a few hours later feeling terrible. 

The hangover from hell. 

I think those episodes slowly turned me into a non-drinker. 

I still like a drink, perhaps a couple of pints at most, but not when gambling. 

A day at the races followed by a night at the casino can be a long night when a high-volume of alcohol is on the cards (literally). So, at the races, I will have a shandy. For those who don't know what a shandy is (I'm sure you do), it is three-quarters lemonade and a quarter beer, lager. It makes for a refreshing drink, especially on a hot summer's day, and you don't have a fear of acting like an idiot (which too much drink does to most), and betting and alcohol aren't a good mix. 

I'm sure plenty of gamblers have lost a lot of cash by dancing with Mr. Moonshine. 

So, at the casino, after a day at the races, I make sure not a drop of alcohol goes past my lips. 

The good side of the casino is that you can get free soft drinks, tea, and coffee on the house.

It makes for an easier night out. 

Read our last post: Ever Regretted Going to a Casino

Lady Luck - Great Yarmouth Style

Lady Luck - Great Yarmouth Style
We all need a bit of luck. 

If we can't feel the touch of the opulent four-leaf clover. Please, don't let us be struck down by adversity. Now, some gamblers scoff at those who say they got a raw deal. From a gambling perspective, horse racing can be one of those punts that sees your hair turn grey overnight, and then the next day you pull it out. 

Why?

Because your horse traveled like a winner but got stuck behind a wall of horses. This wasn't any normal wall it was like Hadrian had built it just to piss you off. In fact, if it had been a steeplechase not only would the wall be wide it would be tall. 

Touching the clouds so even Red Rum would have refused. 

Anyway, at times, we all need a little bit of something. I would rather be lucky when I have a potential big win rather than a paltry sum. 

Who wouldn't?

At the casino, Lady Luck may appear as a man called John, who has a handlebar mustache, and looks like he's crawled out of a bush. He gave you a £5 chip because he thought your luck was even worse than his. 

Sometimes you see a beautiful lady at the casino who, for all we know, could be Lady Luck. 

I mean, I am convinced bearded wonder, John, was my Lady Luck, so a Bella Donna could well be the real deal. 

My cousins love to play three-card poker at the Grosvenor Casino and one of the blokes next to him sees a gorgeous lady watching them play and looking for a little bit of Lady Luck asked her to touch his cards. 

She did and the cards were turned over to reveal a run on the bounce. 

I think it paid about 30/1 (not sure about the odds as I play the game so infrequently I can't remember and too lazy to look).

They were all smiles. 

See, Lady Luck is living and breathing at Great Yarmouth. 

As she walked away to make someone else's day my cousin said to the winner: ''I bet you wish she touched something else.''

I'm not sure if Dame Fortune goes quite that far on the first date.

Read our last post: 24-Hours Gambling at Great Yarmouth

Tuesday, 1:12 AM (You're Taking A Gamble)

They say time waits for no man. 

In truth, time waits for no one - animal or beast. Not animal, mineral or vegetable. But time does predict certain things and may help reason why some poor soul come unstuck simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

It's one of the reasons why you should consider that life is a gamble. Even if you don't want to face the truth, imagine it's a load of mumbo jumbo or fool yourself that there are no such things as odds to chance. You know, those odds don't just stop at the end of a bookmaker's fingers as he chalks up prices on the board of Honest Joe's pitch on a cold afternoon, Cartmel at 3:45. Funnily enough, you are much more likely to be kicked in the head and die at the hooves of an errant thoroughbred horse if you want to check out your policy with Sun Life (no medical needed before or after the tragedy). Sadly, you won't get much for the price of a cup of coffee. 

Anyway, I'm not getting into all this life's a gamble as I don't really want to bore you to death. 

You may be thinking one time of day is pretty much the same as another. 

However, thinking about it, we all know that isn't true. 

It shouldn't surprise you that the early hours are more fraught with danger than Sunday afternoon, drinking tea and eating cucumber sandwiches with the vicar of St John's Church. 

If you want to play it safe please lock yourself away every Tuesday night (morning) at 1:12am. (Preferably alone.)

You may be thinking, I'll do what I want. I'm a bloody night owl. I've played Cluedo enough times to know that Reverend Green wasn't attacked by a wretched monkey (I mean monkey wrench) in the billiard room. 

So keep your gambling, death-wishing thoughts to yourself. 

However, you may be gambling with your life. 

Because a detective who worked on homicide all his career decided to work out the day and time you are most likely to be murdered.

Tuesday, 1:12 am. 

If I were you, every Tuesday I'd go to bed at 1:11am, and please don't provoke your spouse 30 seconds later because it's usually your nearest and dearest who want to kill you most! 

(Statistically)

Read our last breathtaking post: The Man With 3 Hats

She's a Big Gambler

I wonder if you are a big gambler? 

I remember Dave Nevison saying: ''Bet like a man.''

He certainly did that in his time. Perhaps he still does. Betting like a man is betting with a wad of cash. The only reason I would suggest someone betting full-throttle is if they bet for a living and they know what they are doing. 

Else, it's probably a terrible idea. 

But each to their own. My £50 is like another person's £500. And their monkey is another person's grand. 

Etc. 

So it's all relative in ways. 

I feel sorry for that bloke who lives on the edge of Thirsk who has done his cash the last week with his 50p accumulator. 

So are you a big gambler?

Big to you may be big big to me or paltry to others. It doesn't really matter. 

I see a repeat of a TV programme called Fat Meets Fatter. Where a couple of ladies from the UK met with their bigger counterpart who lived in Mississippi. One of the ladies called Delores. 

She made me smile with her chat about being ''fat''. Yes, I know in the world of political correctness such words are turned into their acceptable form (whatever that may be). 

But Delores just said it as it is. 

In fact, she said she couldn't touch her toes and if she dropped something on the floor she would just leave it there. 

In ways, I like her no-nonsense approach to life. 

Big gamblers come in every shape and form. 

Read our last post: Gambling Reference Point

24-Hours Gambling at Great Yarmouth

24-Hours Gambling at Great Yarmouth
I've had many wonderful times at Great Yarmouth. 

You know, if it hadn't been for my family holidays at Caister-on-Sea, staying at the Haven Holiday Park, I doubt I would have ever visited this part of the Norfolk coast. 

What a loss that would have been. 

Great Yarmouth is a destination I visit a number of times each year. In truth, as it was for my Dad, on our family holiday, which coincided with the Eastern Festival in September, we go for gambling.

But there's so much more... 

From my experience of being in Nelson country, I've worked out the best places to go, and if you give me a day off, for a change, here's exactly what I would do to enjoy the perfect 24-hours Gambling at Great Yarmouth

Here's the itinerary: 

Travel by train from my Fenland home via Ely, Norwich, and Great Yarmouth. 

I love the Bittern Line, Acle Straight, for the wildlife and open landscape dotted with redundant water pumps. For years I thought they were windmills, which in ways they are, but used to pump water rather than milling grain. 

From the railway station, we get a taxi to our hotel. 

Now, you may be wondering which hotel I favour.  I've stayed at many including The Marine Lodge, Star Hotel, The Haven, The Prom Hotel, Nelson Hotel, Embassy Hotel, The Comfort Hotel & Palm Court Hotel. 

A decent number. 

The hotel of choice, irrespective of cost, is Andover House Hotel, Camperdown. The road leads to the front and is one of many Victoria houses. It is one of the best parts of the town and walking distance to everywhere you need to go.

Andover House Hotel is well kept and you can guarantee a quiet stay - exceptional service. It may cost a little more than most but you definitely get what you pay for and I've had too many nights elsewhere suffering from sleepless nights with less than amiable clientele.  

If you go for one of the suites or attic room you will be pleased with the decision. In addition, they have an excellent restaurant called the Copper Kitchen. 

It's very much a family business and I love the place. 

Now, where would we be without the gambling part? 

To be fair, I'm not a crazy gambler and been known to go to Great Yarmouth horse racing and not have a bet all day. In fact, it happens more than not. 

It doesn't stop me having fun and there is always a crowd of us. Often we are there for the Eastern Festival which covers three beautiful days of racing in the middle of September including Ladies' Day. I've been lucky enough to be there with my gorgeous partner, Marlene, who lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, where I reside for much of the year. She has been one of the top ten finalists of The Best Dressed Ladies' Competition in the last two years and it really has made everything so special.


She is such an amazing, special and beautiful lady. 

After the horse racing, we get a taxi back to the hotel. We always book Albie's Taxis as they are so reliable. 

A little rest and freshen up back at the hotel before an evening out. 

So where to go for dinner?

I can imagine you are saying your recommendations. 

Guess where we are going?

I know many will have enjoyed this amazing restaurant. 

Pamela's.  

It's literally around the corner from Andover House. You will need to book up. It looks nothing special from the exterior and you could walk past without realising its a restaurant. If you haven't been there before, you have missed out because it is very special. 

You won't be disappointed. 

The place has a touch of bling, very good food and service is as professional as it gets.

It isn't expensive and you really will be delighted you paid about £10 extra because I haven't been to any other restaurants in Great Yarmouth which compares. 

At about 10pm we walk about one-hundred metres to the Grosvenor Casino on Marine Parade. 

The casino is a listed building and it offers a touch of class. The staff is exceptional, the costs of food, drinks and anything you wish minimal. 

In fact, if you take your racing badge you get a free alcoholic drink and match bets. 

It's like being paid £10 simply walking through the door. 

The gaming room features all the casino classic such slots, roulette, three-card poker, blackjack, and some Chinese game I don't understand. 

After a couple of hours at the casino (depending on the winning or losing), it's time to walk the short distance back to the Andover House Hotel.  

I like to book the hotel for a couple of days so I don't have to worry about getting out of bed early. 

Then it's time to get Albie's taxi to the train station, perhaps stop for an hour or two at Norwich, and back home via Ely to the windswept Fens. 

Truly money well spent. 

Thank you Great Yarmouth for all the beautiful memories and so many more to come.

Read our amazing last post: 7 Basics Cons to Get Your Cash 

Photo: Taken at West Palm Beach, Florida (Phipp's Beach)

Birds, Booze & Bookies...

I heard that quote uttered from the mouth of Terry Mcann while watching an episode of Minder. 

It was made in reference to a rogue football player, very much in the mould of George Best. I guess they didn't want to say his name for legal reasons.

As it happened the actor playing the role of the said footballer was a bronzed and very good looking Karl Howman. He was a big name in TV back in the mid-to-late 80s in Brush Strokes, Mulberry and other worthy dramas. More recently, he played Buster Briggs in EastEnders from 2014 - 2016. 

(What a depressing pile of shite...)

Both Dennis Waterman and Howman now senior citizens haven't aged too badly considering the actor's life must be one of famine or feast. 

When I hear the quote: Birds, Booze and Bookies it reminds me of a turn of phrase from the 1970s. 

A time when men had open-chested shirts, excessive hair and a medallion.

Isn't it strange how these days no one works in factories any more.

Considering the first episode of Minder started in 1979 and the last in 1994 I may be stretching the chronology a touch. Perhaps it was made in reference to years gone by as I'm not sure if Minder was actually set in the present day (as it was back then).

George Cole playing the role of Arthur Daley, the Winchester Club with Dave behind the bar and the only place on planet Earth where you could ask for a VAT and it didn't cost you an additional 20%. 

I hate to say it, but the worst part of Minder was when Gary Webster turned up. If you haven't got a clue who I'm talking about, it's a generational thing.

I guess many of our old TV programs are now struggling with the test of time. It was a different era where you wasn't one of the boys if you didn't say something sexist, racist or dubious every other sentence. 

The only people to adorn a beard were teachers, magicians and pedophiles. 

There's a reason why Alaskan men have a beard. (It's cold!)

In this day and age, John Lennon would have sang: ''A working-class hero is something to be...but you're still f****** peasants as far as I can see...''

But some do-gooder would have changed it to fromage-making peasants...

Fromage is French for cheese. 

How times have changed. 

Once upon a time you could afford to go to the pub and drink 10 pints. 

You'd chat up a bird and they didn't give you the look of the devil because you dared to open a door.  

And bookies were a place punters went to get away from the birds while nipping in and out of the pub to get boozed up. 

I know it's a fact that as we get older the good, old days seem much better, enjoyable, fun and real. 

I guess all future generations will look back and think the same. 

However, I think the day is coming when the youngsters of today look back and forward and say: ''It was shit then, and it's even worse shit now, and the future looks distinctly shitty.''

It's the same with gambling. 

In the old days win, lose or draw punters just got on with it. They appreciated - however hard - that if they done their dough it was their own stupid fault. 

Bookmakers and gambling has changed into a mirage of caring. When the shit hits the fan, wipe your arse and stop eating curries...''

The bookmakers follow sport around like a dark cloud with a pretend rainbow flickering like an old gal lighting a fag. Look closer and you see the cloud is made of cotton wool, air-sprayed for realism, a splodge in a blue sky hiding a shoal of hungry piranha.

Bookmakers are not what they seem. 

They have nothing to do with gambling and all about manipulation of the people they call customers. 

I don't know about you, but I'd quite like to go back to the days of Birds, Booze and (True) Bookies. 

I'm sure John Lennon would ask: Where the f*** has Honest Joe disappeared to?

Somehow, it was a very different world.

Read our last post: You Can't Have A Big Appetite In Someone Else's Refrigerator

The Gambler Who Bumps into you Twice

The casino is a melting pot of different people. 

That doesn't have to be a bad thing. It's nice to meet new people, have a chat, share your gambling highs and lows. It's good to be sociable. Who doesn't like to be part of the casino crowd?

However, it is often too easy to judge the world through your own eyes. How else are you going to judge it, you may say?

True. 

But you know something, the man who wears those oval pinked-lensed designer shades, he sees the world through rose-tinted glasses. 

Yes, even when they are pink. 

And that can be a problem. 

Why? 

Because you just never know who is watching you, what's their story, what kind of person they are, and if they are sizing you up to take advantage. 

Now you may be saying: ''That's a pretty sinister way of viewing people and the world.''

You're right, it is. 

If everyone was Mother Teresa you wouldn't need to watch your back because she'd be there doing just that as she blessed you on your way. 

But it's something worthy of consideration when you don't know the people. 

You know who you are. 

You may know that you are a good, kind, and decent person. Perhaps someone watching from across the room sees the same thing and instead of seeing that as the positive, they see it as a good reason to take advantage of the next sucker in their line of sight.

There are lots of ways someone can get your attention, to start that conversation, and 99% of the people you meet won't be a problem. In fact, they could turn out to be a blessing. 

But always take note of that first introduction and how it comes about. 

The first sign that someone unfamiliar has stepped into your personal space or trying to make a connection. 

Always think about this because it's very important. 

If you are walking about the casino and someone bumps into you by mistake and apologises you may think nothing of it. But if the same thing happens a day or week later and the person registers with you and starts a conversation because they seem familiar. 

Be very careful of this person. 

The chances are, this was no accident, and they have an ulterior motive. 

If they stop to chat and take any interest in you. 

Simply walk away.

Read our last amazing post: Losing £1 Billion to Win a Pound

Betting Like a Bumblebee

Betting Like a Bumblebee
Are we so different from the rest of the animal kingdom?

You may say: ''I'm no bumblebee, wasp or creepy crawly.''

I guess it's all about categorisation. The way we make sense of the world. Part of the human condition. It makes the obscure similar. For example, what do a tiger and a table have in common?

They both have four legs. 

You may retort: ''Well, what's all this about a Bumblebee betting?''

Is it an addy, like me? Instead of frothing at the mouth with the residue of ale and kebab, it's honey breath spits out: ''I'll have 10 petals to 1 on Jasperthewasp in the 6:55 Meadow Lands.''

Betting. Gambling. Chance. 

It's all about fractions - whether opportunity or loss. 

Perhaps I have a strange perspective about life. It may seem deranged. But I consider myself and the solitary bumblebee very similar. 

Because at the essence of life we are all betting on survival. Making the most of our lot and battling with hope to see out the day with good fortune. 

For many, even homo sapiens, the success of living that one extra day is the most splendid happening of life. It is not a given to young, old, rich, poor, man, woman, beast, or bumblebee.

Life is often a gamble we do not perceive or understand until it is too late. 

In that sense, we humans are probably a little less objective about our own mortality. Simply because we don't really want to think about our ultimate demise. But, in our lacking, we miss the opportunity to change. 

How many times, after receiving bad news, we wish we had changed. Why didn't I listen to someone who loved me enough to care? If only I could go back in time, the scales would fall from my eyes, to see the truth. 

For many, gambling has been such a topic of conversation. It was undertaken without serious consideration. It was a foolish endeavour. But for others, it was the best decision of their life. 

It was a strength of body and mind. 

When you see a bumblebee fly past on a hot summer's day stop for a moment and consider although different all life is very much the same. 

In truth, we are gambling that tomorrow will be a brighter day.

Let's hope for all creatures great and small, there is honey for tea.

Read our last post: Are You Scared to Gamble?

My Fear of Playing Blackjack

I've got a phobia. 

There's no logic to it. I guess that's the definition of a phobia, hey. It's an aversion, irritational, and extreme. 

It's a personal fear and I cling to it like Rod Hull did to Emu's arse. Except I'm holding this brave bird with a snarling beak in terror before I've even turned a card. 

I don't think this Rod Hull, Emu, card-playing analogy is working very well. 

I'm not sure if there is a word for the irrational fear of playing Blackjack but I've got it. It's like an ism that's turned into an obia. 

You know, I've always loved to gamble. From a small child, I played slot machines at Haven Holiday Park, Caister-on-sea, Norfolk. It was like my hand had been superglued to a Jennings Indian Head One-Armed Bandit. 

I loved every minute.  

Back in the 1970s, there was a very liberal attitude to child gambling. My parents encouraged my twin brother and I to bet like addicts. I'm sure if they had thought about other vices they would have bought us 20 John Player Special and a top-shelf magazine. 

It has crossed my mind that we may have been victims of a secret field experiment that followed us through the ages to see if gambling really was a destructive force. Somewhere in Albania, there's a poster of two gaunt-face children crying as they pray for a rare win.   

I don't think it has done us any harm. 

I've lived to the age of 50 and I'm still waiting for the film crew to knock at the door and ask me a string of questions about my gambling history until I breakdown and cry out for help. 

I rather hope no one comes round. 

Anyway, if you're interested, gambling, horseracing, and websites just like this have actually seen me make a living from betting. Am I one of the few percents who can say that? Well, I will be your token victor if it helps diminish the thoughts that every gambler is frothing at the mouth, losing money like water running down a sink and struggling with mental anguish. 

I might have all these things to come!

But back to my present situation with playing Blackjack. 

The strange thing is I've always enjoyed playing Blackjack. I mean, you may call it 21, Pontoon or Blackjack. As far as I am aware, they are all one and the same thing. However, I don't push myself forward like some kind of expert. Far from it. I used to play at home with my brothers. 

You know, I've never been very lucky playing cards for money. 

But I do know how to play Blackjack. It isn't difficult, hey. 

However, the thought of playing at a brick-and-mortar casino fills me with horror. I look at the table and all the players doing their thing. It looks fun. There are people shouting things like ''Monkey'', ''Go Bitch'' and ''21''. I think I know what they are talking about most of the time. 

I once walked past and shouted: ''Monkey'' at the top of my voice and walked off. 

But the thought of sitting down at the table seems alien to me. It's like someone invites me to sit down and play and I'm pretty sure hidden inside the seat is a whoopee cushion which will echo a fart around the casino as I get comfortable. 

Like a nightmare, I run away from the table as my clothes fall off so I'm completely naked. I get to the door to find it's locked. Turning around, everyone is laughing like Alan Partridge.

Would you dare play if that was in your mind? 

I know logically, it isn't going to happen, but it's the fear of the fear. I listened to one of those Paul McKenna Self Confidence videos on YouTube, and I felt quite calmed but playing a game is a different matter. 

So, I just watch people play. 

The next time I go to Great Yarmouth Grosvenor Casino, I'm going in naked, bringing my own chair and a wallet stuffed with cash. 

I'm thinking if I can surprise the punters first, it will put me in a better position to stop any other problems in their tracks. 

If that doesn't work I'll shout out ''Fuck that Monkey''.

Winner!